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So its official. MTAS is a disaster. Who would have guessed the system would crash under the huge weight of internet activity? Who would have thought there would be disgruntled trainees up and down the country complaining about the crassness of a system which appears to disregard CVs and experience. Who would have thought that the MMC insistence on simple yet cunning enquiries such as "Why did you apply to this region/speciality?" to select the wheat from the chaff would be such a poor discriminator? Er… most of us actually. At MTAS meetings up and down the country expressions of concern were made prior to the system becoming active but were brushed away as the ravings of those protecting their own interests. With the spate of recent resignations it appears that culpability is being established but the question remains – why did it happen in the first place?

Those of us already safely ensconced in ENT should thank our lucky stars we didn’t have to go through this lottery to get in.

On to less depressing news. This edition of The Otolaryngologist has an otological feel. Two reviews are on subjects to complement standard otological information usually given in textbooks rather than repeat them. A review on the growth rate of vestibular schwannomas examines the literature and attempts to pick apart the variables which often bedevil accurate reporting. The second otological review gives a comprehensive account of superior semicircular canal dehiscence – again a subject often omitted from routine textbooks. Away from otology an excellent overview of the principles and practice of immunotherapy is given by Daniel et al.

In the trainees section Sarju Vasani describes how MTAS looks from the other side. Study leave for trainees around the country is compared and the old fashioned concept of 'a level playing field' is proposed. There is also a 'crammer' on nerves in the head and neck that matter most. We welcome the submission of trainees opinions in this forum as evidenced by some of the articles in this journal and I encourage AOT members to make their views known.

Overall the aim is still to educate and inform. If you have strong feelings on anything you read or merely wish to express an opinion on medical politics as they unfold, get in touch via the email address

Additional Info

  • Authors: Anil Banerjee
  • Keywords: The Otorhinolaryngologist
Read 4969 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 16:56

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